ISIS Blows Up Roman-Era Temple in Syria's Palmyra Ruins - NBC Connecticut
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ISIS Blows Up Roman-Era Temple in Syria's Palmyra Ruins

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    This file photo released on Sunday, May 17, 2015, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows the general view of the ancient Roman city of Palmyra, northeast of Damascus, Syria.

    ISIS militants on Sunday blew up the temple of Baal Shamin, one of the most important sites in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra, said Maamoun Abdul Karim, the country's antiquities chief.

    The temple bombing would be the first time that the insurgents, who captured Palmyra in May, have damaged the monumental Roman-era ruins.

    A week ago, the militants beheaded Khaled Asaad, an 82-year-old scholar who worked for more than 50 years as head of antiquities in Palmyra, after detaining and interrogating him for more than a month.

    Before ISIS captured the city, Syrian officials said they moved hundreds of ancient statues to safe locations out of concern that the militants would destroy them. In June, ISIS blew up two ancient shrines in Palmyra that weren't part of its Roman-era structures but that the militants regarded as pagan and sacrilegious.